Dennison takes helm of 704th Test Group, Detachment 1

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks

It wasn’t familial tradition or the prospect of travel that drove Lt. Col. Jeffery Dennison to a career in the military.

Instead, it was the promise of a college scholarship that compelled him to join the U.S. Air Force.

“So far, it’s been the best decision of my life,” Dennison said.

Dennison took advantage of the opportunities presented by this choice, and his work ultimately led him to the role of commander of 704th Test Group, Detachment 1, a post he assumed in mid-June.

“I have three goals in my time here,” he said. “First, I want to continue and build upon the great work of my predecessors. One specific, exciting area includes initiating construction on our Dynamic RCS [Radar Cross Section] Measurement System and properly posturing to operate and sustain this new capability. Second, I want to lead and grow the personnel in the unit and enable them to successfully and effectively perform their duties. Third, I want to have lots of fun with my family while exploring New Mexico.”

In the years since he joined the service, Dennison has expanded his education and has gained a wealth of experience, particularly in test, at a number of facilities across the Air Force.

Dennison earned his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and his Master of Science in directed energy/beam control from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.

Previously, Dennison worked as an intel analyst at the National Air and Space Intel Center. He deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Along with test assignments and Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Dennison gained further experience in test during his time at the Nevada Test and Training Range. He also served in the program office of the Advanced Aircraft Division of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The mission of 704 TG, Det 1 comprises the measurement of RCS and antenna patterns of operational and next-generation assets to help direct their development. Currently, the detachment is responsible for measuring static models across various radio frequency bands and polarities and is working to implement a dynamic measurement system to measure platforms in flight, such as the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor.

Located near Holloman Air Force Base on the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., 704 TG, Det 1, also known as the National Radar Cross Section Test Facility, is assigned to the Holloman AFB-based 704 TG, an operating unit of Arnold Engineering Development Complex, headquartered at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.

Dennison feels the knowledge and expertise he brings to the table will serve the detachment well.

“I have a solid technical background and multiple years of EW [Electronic Warfare] experience in test and acquisitions,” Dennison said. “I’ve also had to stand my ground in tough acquisition environments and defend the programs in my portfolio. I pride myself on the ability to translate technical jargon and communicate to the customers so the engineers don’t have to.”

Dennison’s new role marks the first time his work in the Air Force has taken him to Holloman AFB, but he’s already impressed with what he’s seen and those with whom he has thus far worked.

“So far, I really enjoy it,” he said. “The people are professional, intelligent and motivated, and the mission is exciting and challenging.”

He added the test organization at Holloman provides flexibility and gives personnel ample opportunities to shine.

“I really applaud the environment and the emphasis on communication, camaraderie and teamwork across the unit,” Dennison said.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead what he called an “amazing team” at an “amazing location.”

“In the short time I’ve been in the seat, I’ve already learned much and have enjoyed every minute,” he said. “I can’t wait to see where we go over the next two years.”